San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Solid effort comes up short vs. Cardinals

San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert scrambles against Arizona on Sunday.
San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert scrambles against Arizona on Sunday. The Associated Press

Offense: Blaine Gabbert threw an early interception that was reminiscent of Colin Kaepernick’s wayward throws against the Cardinals in Week 3, but he pulled out of his funk and played well from that point on. Shaun Draughn was not spectacular, but he was solid in all facets of a running back’s game. Grade: B-

Defense: Carson Palmer entered the game with more touchdown passes, 27, than anyone in the NFL. The 49ers shut him out in that category – though he did score on the ground – and rattled him throughout the contest. That they held Arizona’s offense to 19 points should be considered a triumph. Grade: A-

Special teams: Bruce Ellington muffed a punt in the opening minutes of the game that led to the Cardinals’ first points. Bradley Pinion’s punts have improved late in the season, while reliable Phil Dawson booted two field goals, including one from 53 yards, his third from beyond 50 yards this season. Grade: B-

Overall: What to make of the 49ers’ Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde personality in games at home and on the road? It means they have talent but lack the focus the best teams possess. Three of their final five contests are away from Levi’s Stadium. Grade: B

Matt Barrows

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